Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

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Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

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Article excerpt

Wedding daze (15)

Wedding Daze clunks along predictably from one misadventure to the next. First-time feature writer-director Black is ill equipped to forge any emotional bonds between his characters. Stars Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher are, like the film, charmless and lifeless.

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THE HITCHER (15)

In its new incarnation, The Hitcher lacks the elements, which made the 1986 film so engrossing. Director Dave Meyers' blood-soaked road movie pits a witless young couple against the devilish hitchhiker, played by Sean Bean, who lacks the menace of his predecessor.

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PARADISE LOST (18)

Paradise Lost is a mildly diverting but bloodthirsty adventure thriller. Screenwriter Michael Arlen Ross follows a well-trodden path of cheap scares and omens ignored by the protagonists. Performances fail to make much impact, except perhaps Desmond Askew's cheeky chap.

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FLYBOYS (12A)

Flyboys honours the incredible true story of a group of Americans who fought alongside the French. It's a stirring yarn and production values are high. A flimsy romantic subplot ensures a fleeting feminine touch to offset all the testosterone and macho posturing. Stars James Franco.

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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END (12A)

This much-awaited movie is not a complete shipwreck but it sails perilously close, capsizing in the first hour under the weight of audience expectation. Despite some great action set pieces, with spectacular computer generated effects, there's no mistaking warning flares sent up by a bored Johnny Depp. Keira Knightley is thrust to the fore, usurping both Orlando Bloom and Depp.

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THE LIVES OF OTHERS (DAS LEBEN DER ANDEREN) (15)

Florian Henckel von Donnermarck's atmospheric and brilliantly directed thriller won this year's Academy Award as Best Film In A Foreign Language. It paints a detailed portrait of the German capital in the years when a wall divided neighbours and dictated political affiliations. Ulrich Muhe gives a heart-breaking performance.

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THIS IS ENGLAND (18)

British writer-director Shane Meadows returns to stunning form with this largely autobiographical snapshot of life in '80s Britain. There's a stunning performance from newcomer Thomas Turgoose as the cheeky urchin craving a male influence in his life.

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ZODIAC (15)

Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr star in David Fincher's exhaustively researched thriller focusing on the unsolved Zodiac serial killings. Attention to detail is meticulous, but doesn't always make for exciting cinema.

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MAGICIANS (15)

Mitchell and Webb, the stars of the delightful yet weird, voyeuristic TV series Peep Show, have taken a wrong turn with their debut movie. The film conjures a premise ripe with comic potential but breaks the spell by performing a vanishing act with the laughs. …

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